Following Ayrton Senna’s death at Imola, David was promoted from test driver to the race team – where he sat alongside Damon Hill. He enjoyed 13 Grand Prix wins over 15 seasons. Now a member of the pit lane commentary team, David talks first hand about how to succeed in a high performance and unremittingly high pressure environment. He also explains how F1 teams rely on the drivers, technicians, engineers and sponsors all working together.
Driver David Coulthard won thirteen Formula One Grand Prix, racing for Williams, McLaren and Red Bull teams.
David dominated Britain’s junior Formula Ford categories and was the first ever recipient of the McLaren Autosport Award for young drivers. His first memorable battle was with future F1 rival Rubens Barichello for the British Formula 3 Championship; Coulthard was the victor, winning the prestigious Macau F3 Grand Prix.
Appointed a test driver with the Williams F1 team, David was unexpectedly promoted to the team after the tragic death of Ayton Senna. He partnered fellow Brit Damon Hill for the remainder of the season. In his first season as a driver, he won the Portuguese GP and finished third in the Championship. He enjoyed similar success at McLaren, winning 12 of his 13 races with the team, twice supporting team mate Mika Hakkinen to the drivers’ Championship and finishing runner up to Michael Schumacher himself in 2001. Coulthard’s last few years were spent at the newly-formed Red Bull team and, on his retirement in 2008, he was the highest-scoring British driver of all time.
Since retirement as a driver, Coulthard has served as a consultant to the Red Bull team, and is a popular pundit and commentator for the BBC F1 team. In speeches he lifts the lid on the high-risk, high-pressure, high-tech and high-finance world of F1 and looks at the innovation and teamwork required to succeed in the world’s fastest sport.
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Conference Speaker David Coulthard